Jessica Graham - National Development Director

Jessica Graham Appointed as Children’s Literacy Initiative’s National Director of Development

Children’s Literacy Initiative announced today the appointment of Jessica Graham as National Director of Development. Ms. Graham, based in Houston, TX, brings over 15 years of experience helping non-profit organizations successfully increase revenue by connecting and building relationships with donors.

“I am thrilled to officially welcome Jessica Graham as CLI’s new National Director of Development,” said Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Joel Zarrow. “As Interim Director (and before), Jessica exhibited incredibly sharp strategic thinking, deep expertise, and a tremendous work ethic. Jessica brings with her years of development experience and a deep connection to CLI’s purpose.”

Ms. Graham joined CLI as a Regional Development Officer in January 2017 and assumed the role of Interim Director of Development in July 2018. During her time at CLI, she has helped secure over $15 million in revenue, including the highly competitive U.S. Department of Education’s Early-Phase Education Innovation and Research grant to expand CLI’s prekindergarten services. Ms. Graham will oversee the Development team and all national and local fundraising efforts, with a focus on reaching more individual donors in the communities where CLI works. Ms. Graham has worked with numerous non-profit organizations, beginning her fundraising career in New York City at St. Mary’s Child and Family Services in 2003 and most recently serving as Director of Philanthropy Marketing at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

“As the daughter of an educator, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as CLI’s National Director of Development. I look forward to continuing to work with Joel and the team to secure the funds needed to bring CLI’s important work to more teachers and students in under-resourced schools across the country.”

Ms. Graham received her BS in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and her Certificate in Fundraising from New York University, and she is an American Express Non-Profit Leadership Academy alumna.

About Children’s Literacy Initiative
Established in 1988, Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, headquartered in Philadelphia, that is focused on improving literacy instruction in public, charter, and parochial schools to ensure that students can read on grade level. CLI’s program provides personalized coaching for teachers and principals, research-based literacy training, and the books and materials classrooms need so that students can become powerful readers, writers, and thinkers. Third-party research has shown that the CLI professional development model can improve both educators’ early literacy instruction and also student reading achievement. Connect with CLI on Twitter @CLIupdates, on Facebook and via